# The Official Lead Tape Placement+Racket Customization Thread

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by xFullCourtTenniSx, Jan 29, 2010.

1. ### CerpsProfessional

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If you add 15 grams to this frame you probably would want to change the balance. It would be very demanding otherwise. Just a bit extra in the handle thats all. Maybe 10 in the handle and some at 3/9 or 12. Experiment!

2. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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If you don't want to change the balance you must place all you mass as close to balance point as possible or place the weight so the mass times distance on both sides of the balance point is the same. Where ever you place the weight the sums of the distance of the mass from 10 cm axis squared times the mass in kg is the increase in SW.

For example, you could add 7 g at 10 cm from bottom of racket for a zero increase in SW but the balance lowers. Assume your balance is 32 cm, if you add 4 g on each side 51 cm above bottom you will counterbalance the weight added in handle but you SW goes up 13 points. If you add 15 g at balance point of 32 cm your balance does not change but the SW goes up 7 points.

Conclusion it is best to add the weight at the balance point for 0 change in balance and a low SW increase. If you add weight below the balance point the balance lowers but you will have a lower SW increase. What is you're trying to accomplish?

3. ### Karma TennisProfessional

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My years of tinkering lead me to agree with @Cerps.

Add 60% - 70% of the extra static weight to the handle. Add the remainder to the hoop (Where you put it in the hoop will depend on what you want to achieve ... more polarisation at 12, more stability at 3/9, or compromise between two at 10/2. I'd suggest 10/2 as a starting point.)

So with 15g extra weight .... put 10g in the handle, 2.5g at 10 and 2.5g at 2 ... and the tinker from there.

I've been down the path of putting the extra weight close to the Balance point ... Usually end up with a racquet that certainly feels heftier but doesn't seem to improve the playability that much (except for Return of Serve performance). Of course, that might be the player rather than the racquet. But I don't think so.

4. ### hobl4Rookie

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Where would I have to add lead on my K90 for it to have a bigger sweetspot? And if not a bigger sweetspot, to at least stabilize the frame on off center shots.

5. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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3&9 for contact point wide of center, and 12 for shots above. The higher the lead the higher the SW the higher the rebound potential the sweeter the feel. The wider the lead the higher the TW the higher the rebound potential on off center shots that twist the frame in you hand.

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6. ### saleemRookie

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I have a question, I bought a volkl organix 9 racket, 11.4 weight with 313 sw, 5 pts HL.
I am trying to increase the sw to around 325-330 range, I like depolarized set up but I do not want the racket weight over 12 oz, I am adding 8 grams to handle (leather grip) also 4 grams to 3-9 that takes it to 320 sw, Can I add 2 grams to 12 o clock which will make it to 328 sw and my desire weight.

Question is if it is ok to add 3-9 location and also add at 12 o clock location or it is counter productive?

7. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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What you're describing is a polarized racket (at least more polar than what you have) and you making a big change is SW and TW. If you don't like the result what do you think it is you do not like?

8. ### saleemRookie

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I did not make a change yet, I am thinking to do this.
I was just wondering if I do a 3-9 setting (which I think would be better for stability) by adding 4 grams, it does not give me enough swing weight (I need 10 grams of weight to achieve that which makes racket heavy), but if I go 2 grams on 12 o clock position it gives me right swing weight and static weight but.... doe adding 2 grams to top of the racket lowers the stability?

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Question about lead tape placement at the famous 7 inches above the buttcap. How do you add lead tape there? Do you just wrap it around that mark? If so, how are you able to wrap it around multiple times without getting too bulky if you want to add a lot of lead tape?

10. ### ShroudLegend

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I added 15g at that point recently and put it under the over grip. I didnt notice anything really, though I play with a 1 hander. But even if i hit 2 hands it wouldnt get in the way. Though I have a 27.25" stick but even then I think you wont really notice much.

11. ### zaliveHall of Fame

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Hi,

Did anyone have experience with customizing the Volkl X8 (315g)? What proved to be effective on this racquet?

I added total of 4g to 3 and 9 o'clock (maybe 4,5g because of the added sellotape over the lead tape) . The goal was to add some to plow through, to increase sweet spot vertically (this is what X8 lacks a bit, sweet spot is a bit narrow in vertical direction considering the headsize), and to improve stability a bit (always welcome).

For some reason it quite made the racquet feel head heavier (although it was still headlight, as measured). So I added 4g under the grip but I still didn't feel it has quite solved it. So I added another 4g in the handle, and now the balance feels right to me. Although the total mass is now 355g (unstrung frame mass without overgrip was 319g). But I'm used to playing with racquets of 340-370 grams, I like some weight.

For what I can tell it added visibly to the power, and the sweet spot really feels being little bit wider vertically. As for the stability I'm not sure how big is the difference - but I feel some difference in that respect, tho I used to play before with even more stable (intermediate) racquet - oddly it was Erbacher kevlar...

Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
12. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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By vertical what do you mean? I would think vertical is from butt to head. If that's the case it would have been better to add weight @ 12. Once you've added weight to the head (or anywhere for that matter) there is nowhere you can add more weight to make the racket easier to swing.

13. ### zaliveHall of Fame

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By vertical I meant in the direction from 3 to 9 o'clock (that is, vertical when swinging forehand or backhand ). So adding weight to 3 and 9 was meant to increase sweetspot toward 3 and 9. I consider this a bit of a weak side of X8.

14. ### TennisHoundHall of Fame

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I know its probably been discussed previously in this thread, but how do you measure the weight of silicon before you put it in the handle (if its coming out of the tube)? Its going in a Blade 18x20.

15. ### Karma TennisProfessional

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Ok ...

1/ Get some kitchen scales and a sheet of cardboard.

2/ Weigh the cardboard on its own.

3/ Squeeze a pre-defined length of silicon out of the tube onto the cardboard. (Pick a reasonable length perhaps 3 to 5 cms.)

4/ Weigh the cardboard and silicon combination

5/ Subtract the weight of the original cardboard from the weight of the cardboard and silicon combination. The resulting number will be the weight of your pre-defined length of silicon squeezed from the tube.

6/ Now you know that X cms of silicon squeezed from the tube weighs Y grams.

For example ...
Cardboard sheet is 5 grams
Cardboard sheet with 5 cms of squeezed silicon is 15 grams
So weight of 5cms of silicon is 10 grams (ie 15g-5g).

However, before you go stuffing silicon into your handles, why not try Bostic Blu-Tak as a temporary and totally reversible solution. Once you are happy, you can then go to Silicon ... but keep in mind that Blu-Tak is a good medium to long term solution as well. We've had Blu-Tak in some of our players racquet handles for more than 18 months with no change.

16. ### TennisHoundHall of Fame

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Got it. Thanks. I've used the Blue tac before. I used in a Steam 96 and couldn't tell if it helped it or not. Felt kind of hard. I'm sure it was the racquet. I will probably try it in my Blade 98. Thanks, man

17. ### zaliveHall of Fame

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....

Last edited: Nov 30, 2015
18. ### zaliveHall of Fame

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I must admit that I don't understand something. To be as clear as I can to describe what puzzles me I'll use the drawings.

1. This would be the racquet which is balanced even (0 pt HL/HH)

, with added weight of 5g at 12 o'clock and counterbalance of 5g at the buttcap - the balance point remains the same, 0 pt HL/HH.

2. This is the balance of the racquet from the point of person holding the racquet:

To maintain the same balance of the racquet when holding the racquet in your hand, to counterbalance 5g in 12 o'clock, you need x = 29.3g at buttcap.
This is calculated from 5g * 58.6 cm = x * 10 cm (given that 10 cm point is the centre of where you hold the racquet).

What actually counts? Isn't the goal of maintaining the balance (let's suppose that we like the balance of stock racquet) to preserve the same balance when we hold the racquet in playing position? Isn't this the balance of the racquet that was aimed by the manufacturer?
And if so, isn't putting even weight to the handle pretty much sacrificing/altering the balance when holding racquet, rather than counterbalancing it evenly?

Just to explain: I came to this while adding 4g total to 3+9 o'clock. I was surprised how head heavy racquet felt after - only, it wasn't head heavy at all, it was still at least 5 or 6 pts headlight! Then I put 4g counterweight in the handle, and I wasn't quite satisfied. I didn't feel the same balance point as it was while being stock racquet. Then I put double counterweight in the handle. It felt much better. And after I started to think about physics of it and this is what I concluded, so I decided to 'put it on paper' and share it.

Last edited: Dec 1, 2015
19. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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You don't understand. The center of mass (balance point) is the point at which the weight is concentrated. That a racket (or any solid object) and spin it in the air and it rotates around its COM. If an evenly balanced 27" racket weighs 11 oz and your pivot is at 4" (10 cm) you will need a force of (11*4) 44 oz" minus the force in the 4" of handle to balance the frame on the pivot.

20. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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You could have done the same thing easier by adding 12 g at the COM as far as balance is concerned. Of course what you did was to make big changes in SW and TW too.

EDIT: But if you're just placing a racket on a pivot to determine balance SW and TW doesn't matter. As soon as you swing the racket SW and TW makes a big difference.

21. ### zaliveHall of Fame

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I'm not talking about the center of mass, but the balance of racquet when held as when playing tennis.
This balance is, of course, out of balance when we hold the handle. It can be more or less out of balance ('heavy').

I understand now that the pictures above are quite misleading. In these pictures/examples horizontal line has no mass - pictures do not represent real racquet, they serve to picture the principle. Added masses in the picture are put in a such way that they maintain the balance in the upper point of triangle.

The position where you put the mass makes the difference - the longer the distance from the holding/fixed point, the greater moment of force it creates (moment of inertia as well).

I'm trying to tell that I'm concerned with the balance when holding the racquet by the handle. In that respect distribution of mass makes the difference.

22. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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The balance point and the center of mass is the same thing and physics does not cease to exist because you're holding a racket in your hand.

EDIT: Ref - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_of_mass

23. ### Karma TennisProfessional

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I don't think the weight in a tennis racquet is distributed evenly throughout the racquet.

So adding weight at 12 and countering it with sufficient weight in the handle to maintain the original Balance spec will not give you the same racquet - albeit one with higher static weight.

To properly increase just the static weight without affecting any other spec, one would have to know how the weight is distributed in the original racquet and then add extra weight throughout the racquet consistent with the original weight distribution specs. (Ideally, I guess you could run an appropriate strip of lead tape all the way around the hairpin (ie the bare carbon frame). That way you are adding the same amount of weight to all parts of the racquet.

Adding weight to the the tip and the handle is going to change the playing characteristics of the racquet and it will be different to adding weight evenly all the way around the frame - even if the same amount of weight is added and you end up with the same Balance spec.

24. ### zaliveHall of Fame

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But I'm not talking about balance point. When I mentioned balance I was not refering to balance point.
Whenever you hold the racquet by the handle, it is clearly out of balance. But it can be more or less out of balance.
When manufacturers produce tennis racquets, they care that this imbalance is not too big. Otherwise you would not like to play with such racquet as it would feel too heavy to hold and manipulate with.

I'm saying that whatever you do when modifying the racquet, you don't want it to feel much heavier in your hand. So actually, you should be concerned with the situation when you hold the racquet, more than with balance point.

To fully understand what I am trying to explain (and obviously I have trouble in drawing the clear picture), you need to understand this principle:

Only, when holding the racquet, one side of the seesaw is 10 cm long, while the other is 58.6 cm long...

25. ### Karma TennisProfessional

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I think you are simplifying something that is actually quite complicated.

What do you actually mean when you say "you don't want it to feel much heavier in your hand"?

For example, a player with a short slow swing that cannot produce his own power is better suited to a completely different racquet to a player with a very long fast swing who generates most of his own power.

The elite player will find a Head Heavy Balance racquet with low static weight much heavier in his hand than a very Head Light racquet with a high static weight even when the SW of the Head Light racquet is much higher than the Head Heavy one.

There are a lot of variables at play in all of this.

26. ### HankensteinHall of Fame

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I have an interesting project coming up that will be made pretty much like this, or almost atleast. I have bought a light Head Graphene Rev and the CAP grommets to it. In stock form the Radical Rev is 260 grams unstrung and a balance of 36 cm. I will install CAP (adds around 10 to 15 grams spread out over the hitting area), add a leather grip and then fill up with silicone ( a total of around 30 to 35 grams and that is what will fit in the entire grip. Its not possible to add much more silicone i think)

Finally this frame will be around 315 grams with a balance of 32 cm. With the soft 63 RA flex and 16/19 stringpattern i hope that this will be one sweet mo-fo..

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27. ### zaliveHall of Fame

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I'm pretty certain that weigth is not distributed evenly in tennis racquets throughout the racquet, as well as I'm certain that there are differences in weigth distribution from model to model.

The idea of customizing the racquet is, as I undersrand it, to alter the characteristics of racquet, not just to add to mass. Lot of people say that you can increase not only power, but also spin, sweet spot in certain direction, and gain on torsional stability.

But at the same time no one wants to pay the price of making it heavy or harsh on the arm.

I wanted to increase torsional stability and to gain a bit on the power, this is why I put 4 grams lead on 3+9 o'clock. But at the same time only 4 grams of lead on 3+9 made the racquet feel quite head heavy. While it was still balanced headlight. And counterbalancing it with 4g on the handle, no matter what the position on the handle was, helped a bit, but not quite - head still felt heavier than before customizing.

Then I reached for the physics, and calculation says that I should put about 16g in the buttcap to regain the feeling similar to stock racquet. And when I've done it, it actually is so. I feel that the total mass is now bigger, but the feeling of balance in hand is similar to what was on stock racquet.

28. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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You right the weight in a tennis racket is probably not evenly distributed in a racket.
It is impossible to change the static weight of a racket without changing some other spec. IMPOSSIBLE!!!

29. ### zaliveHall of Fame

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You're absolutely right that it is complicated.
My intention was not to simplify it, but the question one thing that I found mentioned often in this thread.

What I want to put into question: 'if you put weight on the head, you should counterbalance it on the head (or on the throat) with an even weight'.

Yeah, even weight on the other side will approximately preserve the balance point of the racquet. But is this the most important?
What is more important: the balance point of the racquet, or what happens when you hold the racquet by the handle (the real situation)?

My problem with customized racquet was more with holding it in between swinging than swinging with it.
This is where I feel lead added in the hoop. Until I counterbalance it in the handle with 3-4 times weight added to the hoop.

30. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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Hummm? Well just what are you talking about?
Just because you're holding the racket does not mean the balance changed. It is what it is.

31. ### zaliveHall of Fame

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What is CAP?
Regarding mass distribution, it indeed sounds pretty much like this

EDIT: Although according to my rough calculations and estimation, it would be good for the CAP to be closer to 10g... (thanx Irvin )

Last edited: Dec 1, 2015

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33. ### zaliveHall of Fame

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I'm talking about heaviness in the hand.
Balance point doesn't describe it. Although it may look like it does.

34. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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When you talk about heaviness in the hand does that racket move or do you just hold it perfectly still? If it is held perfectly still then it is balance, and any weight added above your hand will make it feel heavier. Another way to say that is more force is required to hold it up. If you swing the racket it is SW / TW or both. SW and TW and moments of Inertia and are a measurement of an objects ability to maintain it present state of momentum whether it is accelerating or decelerating. An object in motion tends to stay in motion and an object at rest tends to stay at rest.

35. ### zaliveHall of Fame

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When I held it, it felt heavier. It's more difficult to me to assess what it does to a swing. Mind that I'm used to handling racquets in range of 345-365 grams so some additional weight or imbalance is not that big a problem to me. But I felt the moments when holding static racquet in one hand as something I'm not used to (and do not want to get used to either ).

But more important, this evening I had a hit with racquet with total of 5.5g added lead at 3+9, plus 11.5g lead in the handle. I can tell it felt better than with 5.5g in the handle. I can tell also that increased weigth added big to a power. I'm positive I like this distribution of weight better than the one with even weight counterbalancing, and that it felt easier on my arm, even though both total static mass and swingweight were increased.

36. ### Karma TennisProfessional

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@Hankenstein, I will be very interested to hear about how you go with this and how it compares with some of the other racquets you've been testing.

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37. ### Karma TennisProfessional

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Indeed, a bit of a brain fade on my part @Irvin. I should know better considering all the discussions we've been having about SwingWeight etc.

Of course, adding weight throughout a racquet frame will increase the SW and TW even if the Balance and the weight distribution remains identical to the stock racquet.

38. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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@Karma Tennis all true. If you add weight at 10 cm the SW won't change but the balance will. If you add weight at the balance point the SW changes but the balance stays the same. Anywhere else you add weight changes both not to mention changes in TW or inertia.

39. ### IA-SteveBHall of Fame

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If I already have 3 grams split at 3 and 9, is there any value in putting 3 grams at 12 or would I be better off going with 6 grams split at 10 and 2 only?

40. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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That would depend on whether you interested in increasing the SW, TW, or both.

41. ### Karma TennisProfessional

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And following on from what @Irvin has said ... what are you actually trying to achieve in terms of playing performance by adding weight?

42. ### zaliveHall of Fame

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Hey Karma Tennis, I'm quoting your post from another thread, as it fits just perfectly:

What you have done is essentially the same as what I think is a wise procedure. So let's say it in different words, closer to ones you used: if you add weigth on the hoop, you want as well to make the racquet more head light to compensate for added weight (and it's not just added weight, but also pretty much changed weight distribution as well). And to achieve this you need at least couple of times of this weight added to the handle.

I'm only not sure why did off center hits become tougher on your APD. I didn't notice it on Volkl X8 (unless it was pretty much off center).

43. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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What @Karma Tennis said and what you're saying are two different things. Karma Tennis is moving the COM of mass down toward the handle so the racket actually becomes seemingly easier to swing. What @zalive is doing is adding weight to the racket so the COM stays at the same point therefore it will be harder to swing.

44. ### zaliveHall of Fame

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It is impossible to add more weight to the handle and not move COM toward handle. It's the inevitable conseqence. Therefore if you add more mass to the handle than to the hoop, you move COM toward the handle, consequently making the racquet more head light.

Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
45. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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That's very true. But Karma Tennis added weight only to the handle, you added weight to both ends and your counterbalancing was to keep the balance in the same place. Then you added double weight in the handle to move it down. Karma Tennis put all 15 g in the handle you pu 8 g in the handle and 4 g in the loop.

46. ### zaliveHall of Fame

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In that case it's really different, I supposed he previously added some weight in the hoop.

47. ### TennisHoundHall of Fame

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One thing to note is that a modified racquet will retain its original characteristics only heavier.

For some reason I have had a hard time getting Head Graphene racquets to respond well to weight, especially the Rev Pros.

48. ### zaliveHall of Fame

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This is Gold:
http://www.racquetresearch.com

Requires some time invested in careful reading though, but I think it pays off.

@TennisHound : according to text from the link above, racquet with added mass to the handle should gain on stability, because of lowering the Mass Center Radius (r). Mass Center Radius is distance between Center of Mass and Axis of Rotation (used commonly as 10 cm away from the tip of handle - this is the point of). It should gain on power also because of increased static mass of racquet. Other characteristics should not change. I can confirm this was the case with my racquet after I put more mass in the handle.

49. ### IrvinG.O.A.T.

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I started to read that and the he first thing I went to said mass is inertia. I stopped.

When you add mass in the handle other characteristics should not change. WOW

50. ### zaliveHall of Fame

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I don't understand. Care to explain a bit further?